I’m really happy to write about a Leipzig-based fair fashion label today! Sorbas Shoes was once founded in Berlin but moved to Leipzig in 2019. Two weeks ago, I met Eike, the founder and CEO of the label, in one of my favorite coffee shops. We talked about what life as young entrepreneurs is like, why he chose to turn his back to the academic world of international politics and development and create a shoe label instead, and of course about all the stories around his label: Sorbas shoes.
So what makes these shoes so special? Why do I actually want to write about them? Well, first of all there is the fact that I love supporting small businesses from my area, and especially those where I get the chance to get to know the people behind the product, get to know their story, motivation, view on life… you name it. But of course that’s not all!
Sorbas shoes are 100% made under fair and ethical conditions in small manufactories around Europe, they are sustainable, innovative (especially when it comes to materials), and they are unisex – and timeless!
Since the shoes are all unisex, my husband and I made some fun playing around with two pair of shoes – we are wearing one shoe each and I think both of them look great both on me and on him! Would you agree?
Anyway, let’s get into more detail about Sorbas shoes!
So the first point that makes me want to support this young label, is the fact that the shoes are all manfactured under fair conditions. Eike, the founder, actually knows each and every of the small manufactories in Serbia, Portugal, and Greece. When he started his production, he actually found the very first manufactory in Serbia through an USAID project. Ever since, Eike works on creating better working conditions in the respected areas, pays fair wages (which are above the living-wages), keeps close relationships with the small family businesses, and plays a major role is ensuring the future of the family owned manufactories.
However, it is not only the fact that wages are paid fairly but, maybe even more importantly, the fact that the traditional know how of shoe making is kept alive. The people working for Sorbas in Serbia, Greece, and Portugal know their handcraft since generations and this precious gift of traditional crafts is supported by Sorbas; by encouraging the shoe makers to work with their traditional know how – and yet to make modern shoes out of the most innovative materials!
Because the fact that shoes are made by people using techniques that are known for generations, doesn’t mean that the shoes look like they are from last decade! Quite in contrast; Sorbas shoes are kept in a modern and yet timeless design and are made out of the most up to date, sustainable, and innovative materials.
The above sneakers are made from portuguese cork, handcrafted directly in Portugal to make sure that the materials do not have to travel all of Europe before getting worked on. The silver detail at the back of the shoes, however, is made from pineappple leather!
Both cork and pineapple leather are 100% vegan materials that come with all the benefits animal derived leather has to offer: durability, stability, breathability, and they are water resistant.
The grey sneakers below are made from a very robust canvas fabric. Eike worked for months to finally find the perfect canvasc that actually is stable enough to be used under the challenging conditons a sneaker is going through during it’s lifetime.
By the way, 75% of all Sorbas shoes are vegan – the rest is not. This is because Sorbas wants to be a label for everyone: men and women, vegans and non-vegans. And in case a non-vegan customer accidentially finds the vegan sneaker slightly nicer than the non-vegan ones… well, even better 😉
Maybe you remember my blog post on vegan leather vs animal based leather!? I’ve been so frustrated about vegan leather lately, and I almost wanted to get some leather shoes for my husband this Spring (after his last ethically and quite expensive vegan shoes lasted for only five months!).
Now, Sorbas made me change my mind and made me give vegan shoes yet another try. I read a lot about cork shoes which are supposed to be very durable; and I hope that Eike is right about the durability and stability of the cotton fabric he is using . I will most definetly keep you updated, so check my insta stories every now and then to see how it goes 😀
Now, in case you are looking for some new sustainable sneaker or sandals (yes, they have sandals too…) make sure to check out sorbas.com and leave some greetings from me when ordering 😉
Also, in case you want to learn more about the innovative materials this shoe label is working with, feel free to hop over to their website and read yourself through some intersting facts on cork, leather, cotton, and pineapple leather (in German though)!
This blog post contains names of/pictures of/weblinks to brands and hence, is perceived advertisement. I was not paid for the post and all opinion is my own.